Oregon’s EPR Committee for Packaging Law Begins Detailed Implementation Process

Diving Brief:

  • Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s New EPR Rulemaking Advisory Committee began working out details on how to implement the Extended Producer Responsibility program for packaging known as Recycling Modernization Act.
  • Regulations Consultative Committee met for the first time on July 20 to discuss details of the implementation of the EPR program, which past Last year. Most important recycling program changes will not begin until July 2025.
  • The committee is an element of the implementation strategy that also includes many periods of stakeholder engagement, public commentand changes to local collection programs, according to Oregon DEQ.

Overview of the dive:

Oregon is on a multi-year path to fully implement the law, which calls for most packaging producers to become members of a producer responsibility organization. Local governments will be able to use producer funding for improvements such as collection services, facility upgrades or programs to reduce contamination.

The law also calls for many other recycling changes, including establishing new operating and performance requirements for MRFs, creating a statewide collection list to standardize the types of materials accepted in recycling programs and conducting several studies to assess the accessibility of recycling programs around the world. State.

During his first Meet on July 20, the new Regulatory Advisory Committee began discussing topics such as how DEQ’s administrative fees work, how to coordinate PROs and what program plans should include, and how to fund and reimburse governments premises for expenses related to recycling. Committee members, who represent waste management and recycling service providers, local governments, packaging producers and community groups, will continue to meet regularly throughout 2022 and into beginning of 2023. The next meeting should take place in September.

“We have a lot to do to make sure we meet our statutory deadlines,” said Cheryl Grabham, DEQ’s mresponsible for the materials management program during the meeting.

Meeting participants also shared timelines for other milestones enshrined in law. In 2023, DEQ plans to conduct a collection needs assessment and launch a pilot program to reduce contamination in waste and recycling streams.

Another round of regulation will take place in 2023, and studies on recycling equity and access in multifamily housing will also take place, according to DEQ slides shared at the meeting. By 2024, PROs will be required to submit an EPR plan to the DEQ and begin implementing the plan in 2025.

One of the tasks that the State has already accomplished is to summon its Truth in labeling task force to “study and assess misleading or confusing claims” about whether certain products are recyclable. The working group has completed a report of his findings for the state legislature on June 1, calling for legislation to address confusing labeling on packaging sold in the state, standardizing the language on those labels, and coordinating recycling acceptance guidelines with d other West Coast states.

Maine was the first state to sign an EPR bill for packaging in 2021 and is currently in its own rulemaking process. Oregon passed its law soon after. Since then, California has passed both a recycling labeling law and its own EPR bill and Colorado has also passed an EPR law for packaging.

About Elaine Morales

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